Category Archives: Stan the Man

My Mother’s Brother

My uncle Stanley turns eighty-six tomorrow. He’d be the first to admit that. Stan is one of those people whose birthday often falls on or very close to a major holiday. In his case, he must compete for attention with a basted, golden-brown bird. (Indeed, I found numerous greeting cards, like the one shown in this post, celebrating the coincidence of a person’s birthday with Turkey Day—not to be confused with Turkish Republic Day, which involves more fireworks and presumably less pumpkin pie.)

Today, at a small family get-together for Thanksgiving, I read a poem I wrote in my uncle’s honor. Stanley is fully capable of reading on his own, but my sister suggested that an oral presentation of the verses might be festive. I tend to shy away from having all eyes on me, but among friends and fam, I can be a bit of a ham—or turkey, as the case may be. When my sis and I were kids, we would put on “little shows,” with singing, dancing, and skits—about which I feign embarrassment to this day.

Below you will find an audio recording of my truly underwhelming recitation of the poem at today’s gathering and, below that, the text of the same.

Stan the Man

Stan the Man

I’d like to write a poem
About my mother’s brother;
To love him is to know him—
There really is no other.

But few words rhyme with “uncle”;
“Carbuncle” is the cutest.
Does Stan like Art Garfunkel?
He might prefer a flutist.

No, no, that just won’t do;
I have a better plan.
Yes, I will take my cue
From words that rhyme with “Stan”!

For one thing, Stan’s a man;
This cannot be disputed.
In Valley San Fernan—
Has he been firmly rooted.

Stan looks at life quite gaily,
This son of Chuck and Ann;
His boy plays ukulele,
His girl Duran Duran.

What’s Stan without his Linda?
She’s Jane to his Tarzan.
Their bond no one can hinder;
She bakes him bars pecan.

Stan likes to tell a joke;
He tells it very deadpan.
He’s such a witty bloke—
And drier than a bedpan.

On weekly family Zooms,
Stan educates the clan—
All in our separate rooms,
More smart than we began.

To list Stan’s qualities,
A year’s too short a span;
He aims always to please,
And I’m his biggest fan.